Kraft Heinz, one of the food and beverage industry’s most notable players, is taking strides toward more environmentally sustainable practices. They intend to institute a plan that would make their product packaging completely recyclable by the year 2025.
This change of direction stems from the demands of environmentally conscious consumers and engagements with environmental organizations (like As You Sow and the Science Based Targets Initiative), sustainable packaging consultants, and industry associations.
Designing for the Future
The primary focus is to change the packaging materials currently used for Kraft Heinz's ketchup packets, Capri Sun fruit drinks, and ketchup bottles. The packaging for the ketchup packets and Capri Sun drinks, which consists of a multi-laminate combination of foils and plastics, is not completely recyclable because the layers can’t be separated during the recycling process. Similarly, the ketchup bottles are manufactured from PET plastic, a material that is extremely durable and undergoes a lengthy decomposition process that can span hundreds of years. All of the excess unrecycled waste generated from these packaging materials contributes to water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to being recyclable, Kraft Heinz’s new “green” product packaging will also have to meet the metrics of convenience, food safety, shelf-life, distribution, pricing, and aesthetics.
Keeping up with the Green Competition
While Kraft Heinz is updating its sustainability focus to help the environment and answer calls for eco-friendly practices from consumers, it's also changing to stay competitive. Industry competitors like Unilever and Nestle SA have already prioritized environmentally sustainable practices, leading to an industry-wide shift in business priorities.
Environmental sustainability has quickly evolved into one of the most pressing and polarizing issues of this age; Many companies with a heavy ecological footprint have found themselves in the crosshairs of environmental organizations and environmentally conscious consumers. Kraft Heinz’s willingness to adopt new environmentally sustainable practices will certainly help them - and the earth - in the long run.
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